The Mountain Hike Into The Unknown
Preparedness is key
Sometimes our enthusiasm can cloud dangers, that lurk in our paths.
Beauty of nature
The sun beat down on our heads as we moved slowly up the mountain path, on a hike that was not turning out the way we had planned.The weather had changed and the heat was unbearable. The island sea was far below us, but we had taken a wrong turn, not knowing if the path that we were on, would take us to the old sugar mill, that we had seen on the brochure the night before.
We should have listened to the hotel manager, who had offered us a guided tour of this particular tourist attraction. Thinking that my husband and I could do it alone, we set out the next morning, with the promise of a glorious leisurely climb up the mysterious mountain that lay shrouded in white clouds.
Our ration of water was far less than we should have carried, but not aware of these dangers, we hurried on bright eyed and bushy tailed, like some silly tourists, without a care in the world.
When the sugar mill never appeared for over an hour, we realised something was amiss.The path became much steeper and we found that our legs were beginning to ache and the water was almost finished. So were we too.
A chill ran down my spine as a bright yellow and black spider appeared in front of us, on that narrowing windy and uneven path. By now we should have been heading back to the hotel, for a warm bath and sun-downers on the pool deck. Now we were totally lost and the jungle fronds pressed into our faces menacingly, reminding us of our predicament.
The sun starts to fade
The sun was dipping on the horizon and the cicadas chirping became less as night set in. At that point we decided to turn back and not venture any further. How many programs had we watched on the Discovery channel, about tourists who lost their way on mountain slopes and vast open spaces or even in the Grand Canyon. Stupid us!
Footsore and weary we stumbled down the path which appeared to be far more difficult than when we came up. Slipping on loose stones, our silence was almost tangible. No time for tears or tongue lashing . That would have made matters worse.
Our tongues were parched and almost stuck to the roof of our mouths. What in the world had been going on in our minds, to embark on this climb, not knowing the lay of the land and completely unaware of the temperatures on the mountain, at that time of the year.
A ray of hope
As we came round a bend we heard some muffled voices in the distance. As we approached a steep drop, where the path hugged the mountain, a voice appeared from nowhere asking us if we were the couple from the hotel. They had sent a search party up to find us after we never arrived for dinner. Two very grateful tourists arrived back at the hotel, with the search party of willing climbers.
That day we were alive to tell the tale and yes, that day we became wiser in an instant.
After the warm bath and glorious dinner, that they kept aside for us, we fell into bed and dreamed of forgotten islands and mountains to conquer. We slept through the breakfast hour and were in time for that seafood lunch, overlooking the bay with the mysterious sugar mill, still waiting to be discovered, on the even more mysterious mountain, that had hidden it's secrets from us for another time and another place.